724.3415/1870: Telegram

The Commission of Neutrals to the Bolivian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Gutiérrez)


The representatives of the five neutral countries have received the cablegram of the Minister of [Foreign] Relations of Bolivia of July 24. They are very sorry to know that the Government of Bolivia [Page 38] on July 20 informed the delegates of Bolivia that it did not think it could continue conversations with Paraguay without prejudice to the dignity of Bolivia.

The representatives of the neutral countries believe that the interests of Bolivia and Paraguay as well as also those of the whole Continent would be better served by a continuance of the negotiations, already well advanced, for a non-aggression pact.

They are convinced that if both countries would submit full details to them on the incidents that have occurred in the Chaco from June 15 to date a solution could be found, and at the same time the signature of a non-aggression pact could be reached.

The neutral representatives were pleased to find these same points of view expressed in the memorandum of June [July] 9 which was presented to them by the delegates of Bolivia.32

In that memorandum it is said:

“After the peaceful happening of the 15th day of June, when Major Moscoso took his position in an unoccupied place, a protest would have been admissible on the part of the Government of Paraguay, if it deemed its right infringed, and the Government of Bolivia would have hastened to explain the occurrence.…33

Notwithstanding the new and unjustified Paraguayan aggression, Bolivia thinks that there is no sufficient reason for breaking off the negotiations. On the contrary, she believes that there is greater and more urgent need of arriving at an agreement which may avoid so abnormal and dangerous a situation as the one which now prevails in the Chaco.”

Besides, the neutrals could not but be pleased with the declaration made by the delegates of Bolivia on July 18 in the sense that the Delegation was placing itself in their hands for the conciliation of the incident of July 15 and the subsequent incidents. On the basis of all these declarations the neutral representatives addressed themselves to Paraguay and obtained her [consent for] her Delegation to return to Washington, which it did on the 23rd instant, to consider our suggestions.

Although it is true, as your cablegram says, that Paraguay has not as yet accepted the bases of a non-aggression pact laid down in the draft prepared by the delegates of Bolivia and Paraguay on May 6, the neutral representatives have asked the Government of Paraguay to give instructions to its Delegation by cable permitting it to sign a non-aggression pact which may honor and serve Bolivia and Paraguay equally and avoid further armed conflicts.

[Page 39]

The neutral representatives have full confidence that these instructions will arrive soon.

With reference to your declaration that Paraguay has not accepted any investigation of the events of June 29, the neutral representatives have the honor to inform you that in their cablegram to the Government of Paraguay of July 21 they asked that there be sent by cable as soon as possible complete information on the incidents which had occurred in the Chaco from June 15 to date and in his reply of the following day the Minister of [Foreign] Relations of Paraguay said that the Paraguayan delegates had been ordered to return to Washington “to consider Your Excellency’s suggestion”.

The neutral representatives understand from this that Paraguay will soon transmit complete details concerning all these incidents in order that they may be able to find a solution for them.

In view of the foregoing, as well as the declaration made in the cablegram of the Minister of Foreign Relations of Paraguay which was transcribed to you on July 22, that Paraguay is not committing nor will it commit any act of armed hostility against Bolivia, the neutral representatives again urgently request the Government of Bolivia to make an analogous declaration. They ask also that Bolivia send to her delegates by cable, as soon as possible, complete details on all the incidents which have occurred in the Chaco from June 15 to date, which may permit the neutrals to find a satisfactory solution of the said incidents. They request of the Government of Bolivia also to authorize its Delegation in Washington to continue the negotiations concerning a non-aggression pact in order to prevent future incidents.

Henry L. Stimson

Secretary of State of the United States
Fabio Lozano T.

Minister of Colombia
José Richling

Chargé d’Affaires of Uruguay
José T. Barón

Chargé d’Affaires of Cuba
P. Herrera de Huerta

Chargé d’Affaires of Mexico
  1. Not printed.
  2. Omission indicated in the original telegram.